Smith Reaches United
Despite a gloomy year of economic downslide nationally
and locally, the people of Smith College displayed their continuing generosity by
contributing a total of $164,117, surpassing the Smith United Way campaign goal of
amount contributed by Smith represents 13 percent of the United Way of Hampshire
County’s 2009 campaign goal of $1.2 million. As in most years, Smith is the
largest institutional donor to the local United Way campaign.
“The consistent support of the staff and faculty
at Smith helps make the annual campaign a success, said John Ebbets, CEO of United
Way of Hampshire County. “Without Smith, we would not be able to fund the many
great agencies and programs we do each year.
“Our funding in three program areas—children
and youth, health and safety, and economic security—helps form a safety net
of services for those in need in our community. And the needs this year and next
The Northampton Survival Center is among the 27 local
United Way partner agencies that benefit from Smith’s support. The center distributes
a daily average of 2,000 pounds of free food to low-income community members, serving
more than 4,000 clients a year. Another United Way partner agency, Safe Passage,
provides services to approximately 500 Hampshire County women and children each year
who have experienced domestic violence, including responding to 12 to 15 hotline
calls a day.
Smith’s positive influence on the United Way is
mutually reinforcing and extends even further than the college community’s
monetary support. For example, students and employees of Smith volunteer as mentors
through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Smith’s site-based BB/BS mentoring program
is being used as a model that is being replicated on other area college campuses.
Casa Latina provides information and recommendations to Smith, among other area employers,
on how to recruit and retain low-income Latino employees. Smith School for Social
Work interns gain experience working with high-risk families through Berkshire Children
and Families’ Parent Aide program, while Ada Comstock Scholars serve as Parent
Aide volunteers and offer childcare services for parents participating in support
Of course, the need of people in and around the Smith
College community continues long after the successful campaign season ends. But with
the generosity displayed by Smith employees, more children will eat nutritious meals,
more people will sleep in warm beds, more young people will be partnered with positive
More people will live better lives.